A REDRUTH Trust set up to preserve and manage sites of industrial heritage is being forced to close on Sunday following the withdrawal of funding - resulting in the loss of 16 jobs.

The Trevithick Trust, based in Pool, maintains sites in and around Camborne and Redruth, including St Day Old Church, King Edward Mine and Tolgus Tin Mine.

Until February the charity had been funded by Kerrier, Penwith and Carrick district councils, Cornwall county council and the National Trust.

However, funding has now been withdrawn and the trust is due to close at the end of this week.

General manager, Peter Jennings, said: "It's very sad indeed. Incredibly sad for English Heritage in Cornwall really."

He said he was most concerned for sites themselves, which he hoped would still be protected. The trust has already let go of a number of sites and staff, in preparation for complete closure.

"The real problem now is that I just don't see in Cornwall a co-ordinated voice speaking for industrial heritage and that's my major concern," he added.

Mr Jennings said he was also concerned for future generations, who may not be able to enjoy the sites.

"Hopefully we'll all survive," he said.

The general manager claimed Kerrier district council set the ball rolling in February, when they suggested funding may be withdrawn. The other councils and the National Trust then followed. However, David Sillifant, external director at Kerrier district council, said: "First of all we are not the only funding partner. There is a partnership that originally set the Trevithick Trust up.

"The trust has been having difficulties over the last few years and in the last 12 months it's only been operating in the Kerrier district.

"It was the unanimous conclusion that the Trevithick Trust was no longer delivering the objectives it was set up for."

He said the decision was made at a meeting of all the councils, plus the National Trust, in February. The decision to close at the end of this season was made by the trustees of the Trevithick Trust themselves.

Mr Sillifant added Kerrier council, along with other councils, took the decision to continue funding the trust until the end of the season, in order for them to run it down slowly.

The sites in Kerrier district - St Day Old Church and the King Edward Mine - are now the responsibility of the council, who have been finding alternative methods of maintaining them, he said.

The King Edward Mine is to be managed by the current volunteers, who are forming a limited company. They will manage the mine on behalf of the council, who will provide funding.

The council is still looking for someone to manage the church.